Pass it on. Infamous words to say the least.
Of course, words sometimes come easy, but do we need to exercise caution when we say the words "pass it on" and ask ourselves, "Just what is it we are passing on?"
Here we are at the end of another year. Soon, we will find ourselves enjoying a quiet evening with friends and family or maybe at a big, loud party with music and all the bells and whistles that usually accompany bringing in the new year. Maybe some will even be alone enjoying a quiet glass of wine while counting along with the millions in Times Square in New York City, as the giant brightly colored ball descends on its famous journey downward.
As the new year arrives, our thoughts wander and meander, and we ask, "What happened to us this year that we would feel right about passing on to another for the New Year?"
Anyone who ever has experienced losing a loved one and was responsible for disposing of their personal effects would have no problem expressing an opinion on this subject, but is it always "personal effects" that are important to "pass on"? Even though they might help us remember the past, offer comfort in various areas and are neat to display for other family members, can you agree they are not the most valuable things that we, as human beings, should consider important? Rather, I believe we should share the experiences in our lives that can never, ever be taken from us.
I have been told life is 10 percent what you "make it" and 90 percent how you "take it," so if this is true, we need to decide for ourselves individually just what we want to do with this 100 percent we have. How can we pass it on in a way we would be comfortable with?
Just what is it we want to "pass on" now that we have reached the most important part of the final countdown for 2011?
For me, I want to be able to pass on to my children the events in their lives they made me happy and extra proud and the times they made my life extra special. I want them to know the joy they have given me during my lifetime. That, I want to pass on.
I want to be able to share the wondrous treasures with which I have been blessed, so they can continue to give someone else a merry heart and a better attitude for what life has in store for them.
I want to pass on to others the joy found in counting our blessings, celebrating the gift of life and love and sharing each day, so we know it is a new day. It is a gift from God that behooves us to smile, laugh, give encouragement and spread as much sunshine into the lives of all we meet.
I want to live what days I have remaining without looking back too much, so I find myself remembering the joys I have received and sharing those memories with those still sharing a place on this earth with me. Yes, this I want to pass on.
The list of sharing is endless. Passing on the opportunity to look and see the blue skies and the beautiful cascading snowflakes. Passing on knowing the champions and faithful, hearing the voices of children and loved ones, and knowing that each day is a blessing in itself.
Several weeks ago, I enjoyed a December birthday and received a unique and surprising birthday greeting from one of my grandchildren. It came in the form of not one, but five birthday greetings, and was stated in five different languages.
So since the phrase "Happy New Year" will be echoing in the hallways for a few more days, I sent out a request for the very same for the Happy New Year greeting, and this is the response I received.
In Italian, it is "Felice Annonuovo." In French, it is "Bonne Annee." In Spanish, it is "Prospero Ano Nueve." In German, it is "Ein Glunkiches Neuvers Jahr," while in Latin, it is "Annum Fastum." I also received a Greek version, but needless to say, it was Greek to this ole granny.
A famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt tells us to "Do what you can with what you have where you are."
Reading those simple words leads me to think, as we pay others, so we are paid. Life basically gives us back just what we give, so goodwill controls success.
So as the last minutes of 2011 tick away, we need to start thinking about what it is we want to "pass on."
We still have time to enjoy the beauty surrounding our lives. We still have an opportunity to leave some of the most precious memories to those who are extra special in our lives as well as friends and neighbors. So let's all take the challenge to burn those candles, wear that new sweater, put those fancy dishes on the supper table, use those nice sheets and, instead of putting away that favorite Christmas ornament, give it to a friend or another family member and share the reason just why it has a special meaning in your life. Share by passing it on.
We still can find joy in the beauty surrounding our lives and be happy so each and every person will be able to find it in their hearts to "pass it on" during the new year, leaving only the most precious of memories to each and everyone who we share in our lives and who have made this year one that will live on forever.
Nadene Albrecht is a member of the Generations Advisory Group.